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Tag Archives: regional economic outlook

Chart of the WeekWhen Inequality is High, Pandemics Can Fuel Social Unrest

By Tahsin Saadi Sedik and Rui Xu In the months and years following previous pandemics, the countries most affected saw a rise in social unrest. Based on this historical trend, the COVID-19 pandemic could pose a threat to the social fabric in many countries, but these trends do not pre-determine an outcome. Pandemics can set off a vicious cycle of economic despair, inequality, and social unrest. We take a closer look into this issue in a new IMF staff working paper by analyzing the...

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Building an Inclusive Recovery in the Middle East and Central Asia

By Jihad Azour and Joyce Wong  عربي, Français, Русский  Countries in the Middle East and Central Asia face with COVID-19 a public health emergency unlike any seen in our lifetime, along with an unprecedented economic downturn. The pandemic is exacerbating existing economic and social challenges, calling for urgent action to mitigate the threat of long-term damage to incomes and growth. As analyzed in our new Regional Economic Outlook, while the region responded resolutely and swiftly to save...

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Chart of the WeekTrade as a Tool for an Efficient Recovery

By Jesus Gonzalez-Garcia and Yuanchen Yang As economies now look for paths to recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, new evidence reaffirms that policies for more open and trade-integrated economies could significantly benefit domestic competition and ultimately may help lower costs for consumers in emerging and developing economies. A recent Working Paper, building on the Regional Economic Outlook chapter on competition, competitiveness and growth in Sub-Saharan Africa, examines the effect of...

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Safeguarding Africa’s Food Security in the Age of COVID-19

By Pritha Mitra and Seung Mo Choi Food security in sub-Saharan Africa is under threat. The ability of many Africans to access sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs has been disrupted by successive natural disasters and epidemics. Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, locust outbreaks in eastern Africa, and droughts in southern and eastern Africa are some examples. The COVID-19 pandemic is just the latest catastrophe to have swollen the ranks of 240 million people going hungry...

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Chart of the WeekEurope’s Wage-Price Puzzle

By Richard Varghese Does higher wage growth fuel inflation? In Europe, that has historically been the case. But the link between wage growth and inflation has weakened in recent years amid low inflation expectations, robust corporate profitability, and strong competitive pressures. The price of labor—namely wages—is rising at a robust pace, especially in the European Union’s newer member states. Yet, surprisingly, inflation has barely risen. We set out to shed light on this puzzle in...

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Chart of the Week: Words Count for Central Bank Communications in Latin America

By Juan Yepez  October 15, 2018  Effective central bank communications are essential in guiding market expectations (photo: lionvision/iStock) When it comes to central banks in Latin America, sometimes words can speak louder than actions. This is because the public and investors rely on central bank communications to make economic and financial decisions. So, clear and consistent communications from a central bank about policy decisions and the economic outlook are essential to guide...

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Chart of the Week: Oil Prices & Energy Subsidies

By IMFBlog November 27, 2017 Universal fuel and energy subsidies have been prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, but they have substantial drawbacks (photo: Reuters/Newscom). Reforms in some mostly oil-exporting countries, along with lower international fuel prices since 2014, have reduced the size of fuel subsidies in sub-Saharan Africa, and they need to do more  given the recent rise in international fuel prices. Universal fuel and energy subsidies have been prevalent in sub-Saharan...

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Navigating Through Global Cross Currents: Latest Outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean

By Alejandro Werner Versions in Português (Portuguese), and Español (Spanish) The global landscape has changed since our last update in October 2016. These changes have been mainly shaped by: An anticipated shift in the U.S. policy mix, higher growth and inflation, and a stronger dollar. In the United States—while potential policy changes remain uncertain—fiscal policy is likely to become expansionary, while monetary policy is expected to tighten faster than previously expected because of...

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